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Nikon Coolpix S9200 Digital Compact Camera Review

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Digital Compact Camera Review - Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix S9200, a compact camera with 18x optical zoom, small enough to carry in your pocket.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix S9200
Price : £229
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Nikon Coolpix S9200 5

The Nikon Coolpix S9200 is a version of the S9300, without GPS and is available from Currys Digital and PC World in black, silver and brown. It features a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, 18x optical zoom lens, full HD video with stereo sound and lens-shift vibration reduction.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 2

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Features

The S9200 has a back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, designed to deliver clear images in any light. There is an 18x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-450mm, with ED glass. Lens-shift VR is there to help keep images as sharp as possible. The camera shoots with a 99 point autofocus system, you can also choose Subject Tracking AF, which focuses on your subject, even if it is moving about.

There are 19 scene modes, where the camera will automatically optimise the camera settings. Other modes include Auto HDR (combining 2 shots at different exposure levels), Easy Panorama 360°/180° (panning vertically or horizontally), high-speed continuous shooting (seven shots at six fps) and 3D shooting mode. To select your desired mode there is a mode dial placed on the top of the camera. Images can be edited via the Retouch menu with a range of filter effects.

Videos are recorded at full 1080p HD (1080p) with optical zoom and stereo sound. You can also pause and continue filming, with the camera creating just one file for smooth playback. The S9200 can be connected to a HDTV via a HDMI cable for playback.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 4

Key Features

  • Back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 18x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-450mm)
  • Lens-shift VR (vibration reduction)
  • 3.0-inch 921k-dot LCD screen
  • Mode dial
  • Full 1080p HD movie recording
  • ISO 125-3200
  • 4cm minimum focusing distance
  • Auto HDR mode
  • High-speed continuous shooting at 6 fps
  • Easy Panorama 360°/180°
  • Available in black, silver and brown
Nikon Coolpix S9200 1

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Handling

The S9200 is small enough to carry in your pocket and very easy to hold, thanks to the front of the camera having a rubber coating with a plastic ridge for extra grip. The rear also has a substantial rubber grip for your thumb. The flash pops up when required, although you do have to manually push it back when you switch the camera off. On the top of the camera is the on/off switch, shutter release, zoom rocker and mode dial which is sunk into the camera. The buttons on the rear of the camera are fairly typical, with dedicated video record and a rotating wheel d-pad.

The 3 inch LCD screen is bright, clear and easy to see from varying angles. The menus are laid out well and are simple to understand and navigate. The battery has a CIPA rating of 200 shots, we were able to take well in excess of this amount on one charge during testing. We tested the cameras performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.

Shutter Response   0.15 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   1.0 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.1 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   1.4 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   3.2 seconds
Continuous H   5.6 fps
Continuous L   2 fps

Continuous H and L both shoot at full 16 megapixel resolution. The S9200 also has 120 and 60 fps continuous shooting modes with image size restricted to VGA and 1 megapixel respectively.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 6

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Portraits have excellent skin tones and are free from red-eye. The S9200 also takes a very pleasing shot in landscape mode, particularly on a bright, sunny day. There is also HDR mode, which combines two pictures in-camera.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Images have a good level of detail at both ends of the lens and purple fringing is kept under control. Images are also well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 4cm, this doesn't allow you to get really close to your subject, but you can still take a decent macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - With no noise at ISO 125, there is quite a bit appearing at ISO 200 and ISO 400, where images have lost a significant amount of sharpness. It doesn't worsen much when switching to ISO 800, but there is a much higher level of noise at ISO 1600, causing the images to be very soft. At ISO 3200, images are very soft with some detail lost.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White-Balance copes well under our studio lighting, with the incandescent preset taking a very similar image under the incandescent lights, whereas the fluorescent preset takes an image with a magenta cast under the fluorescent lights.

180 Panorama | 1/1000 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
180° Panorama | 1/1000 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125

360 Panorama | 1/1000 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
360° Panorama | 1/1000 sec | f/3.7 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - The S9200 takes both 180° and 36°0 panoramas, both modes give impressive images with no sign of any stitching issues.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Other sample images


Above are images taken using some of the scene modes available on the S9200.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The S9200 also has a range of special effects which can be used when picture taking, with examples of each below. The camera also as filter effects which can be applied to your images in the playback menu, as well as other editing options such as skin softening and quick retouch.

Video - Below is a video shot at full 1080p with stereo sound. Optical zoom is also available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.



Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix is priced at around £245.00. For £260 you can buy the S9300, which has GPS. Other cameras with a similar specification include the Leica V-Lux 30 (£499.00), Sony Cyber-Shot HX10V (£329), Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ25 (£249), Sony Cyber-Shot H90 (£229), Fuji FinePix F660 EXR (£205), Samsung WB700 (£129) and Pentax Optio RZ18 (£120).

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Verdict

When shopping around you can find the S9200 for £245, but retailers such as Curry's are charging £270. This makes it more expensive than the S9300 which you can get from Warehouse Express for £260, which has GPS. Thankfully, the S9200 takes pictures with good detail and colour reproduction and can shoot full resolution images at a fast rate, although noise is a problem from ISO 400 upwards. If the S9200 was cheaper, we'd be happy to recommend it, but for the price, you might as well look at the S9300.

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Pros

Good zoom range
Compact, easy to grip body
360°/180° panoramas
Full 1080p HD video recording
Fast continuous shooting at full resolution
Good colour reproduction

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Cons

4cm minimum focusing distance is limiting for macro shots
Noise at ISO 400 upwards
Tripod socket not central
Only available in certain shops

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
VERDICT

Nikon Coolpix S9200 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 450mm
Optical Zoom18x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921,000
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus4cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 3200
White balance
    Exposure Comp+/-2
    Shooting Options
    Continuous shooting120fps
    Video
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1920x1080
    • 1280x720 720p
    • 640x480 VGA
    Video FPS30
    Stereo SoundYes
    Optical Zoom with VideoYes
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYes
    Interface
    HDMIYes
    USBUSB 2
    Wi-FiNo
    Storage
    Card Type
    • SD
    • SDHC
    • SDXC
    File Type
    • JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeEN-EL12
    CIPA Rating200
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 (with terminal cover), Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD
    Dimensions
    Weight215g
    Width108.7mm
    Height62.3mm
    Depth30.6mm

    View Full Product Details

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    Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S9200

    Who the hel.........The Waves in PortseaSacre Blue!Blue AngelFrench Patiseriesa strange insect in my gardenThe Greeting to the SunNewport Town Centre - look up!!New Shoots - Start of SpringLichen
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    Comments


    hi.. just bought this camera.. really pleased with the performance, especially the macro mode.Can you tell me where i could find the users cds as my camera was bought without them.
    Thanks Jayne

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    23 Jul 2013 11:37PM
    I just got this camera (second had) based on the review and that it seems that new cameras are going through a bit of transition phase at the moment so holding off seemed like a good idea.
    It has a number of downpoints not mentioned.
    *I couldn't find a way to adjust the f stop or the shutter speed, only control I had was by changing the ISO. This is obviously quite limiting for anything more than 'holiday snap' type stuff.
    *Has great difficulty focusing, if it ever manages to, under artifical light especially if zoomed in. Also has difficulty focusing at say 2 foot distance in good lighting conditions, didn't focus on the road sign I pointed it at but would focus on the ground or wall which where a bit further away.
    *No flash ability in continious shooting / burst mode so your stuck with having amazing lighting conditions or cranking the iso up to get shots that aren't blured making it seems a somewhat useless feature
    *Issues with what seems like jpeg artifaacts or sharpening when looking at an image in detail (ie contrast on edges is artifical eg black text on white paper has a whiter bit around the text than the white of the rest of the page), you can see it on one of the example photos on this page (the one with a woman, look at the edges in the picture, some have this contrast issue).
    *doesn't hold focus whilst zooming... very very anoying if your recording a video as the focus goes whenever you use the zoom, so not suitable for zooming into the subject you are recoding and having the subject stay in focus whilst zooming.
    *no focus control whilst recording a video I think it's limited to focusing on whatever is in the centre of the view.
    +one plus is I didn't notice any noise from the zoom when recording a video which is an issue with some other cameras.
    23 Jul 2013 11:42PM
    oh, also video recording is limited to 29 minutes (in 1080 anyhow) even if you have enough space to make larger videos.... this may be beause the SD card I used is formatted to FAT32 and that has file size limmits... still splitting the file automatically when this limit was reached would seem like a sensible and fairly easy thing to do.

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